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ESL Teacher Certification in Kentucky

To obtain English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher certification in Kentucky, a candidate must complete certain education and testing requirements. Once these are satisfied, candidates may apply for teaching licensure and the ESL endorsement.

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Increased migration into the U.S. has resulted in a significant increase of ELLs (English Language Learners) in Kentucky. This has subsequently led to a surge in demand for qualified ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers in the state. To teach ESL in Kentucky, it is necessary to obtain an ESL endorsement. Here, the steps that need to be followed to qualify for this endorsement are described.

ESL Teaching Certification Requirements in Kentucky

Average Salary for Teachers in Kentucky (2017)* $53,540 (Kindergarten), $53,140 (Elementary), $53,800 (Middle), $55,300 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education with TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Testing Requirements ETS Praxis test - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (5362)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree & Complete Teacher Preparation

The first step to becoming an ESL teacher in Kentucky is to complete a bachelor's degree and an Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) approved teacher preparation program. Aspiring ESL teachers should pursue a preparation program which includes a minimum of 12 credit hours of ESL/TESOL coursework. These courses typically include topics such as:

  • TESOL Theory and Practice
  • Linguistics
  • Language and Culture
  • TESOL Methods and Materials

Adding the ESL Endorsement

In Kentucky, teachers who already have licensure can add the ESL endorsement to their existing license. The endorsement may be achieved as part of a relevant master's degree program, Rank I coursework, or as a stand-alone non-degree graduate program which will allow candidates to just get the endorsement. Those seeking an initial license can find a bachelor's degree in education that includes the required ESL coursework for the endorsement. Preparation programs provide candidates with classroom-teaching experience. For example, the University of Louisville ESL endorsement program consists of 30 hours of documented observation with a state-certified, ESL-endorsed teacher.

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Step 2: Pass all Required Testing

Once candidates have satisfied the ESL coursework requirement, they must pass the computer-based ETS Praxis ESOL test (code: 5362). The minimum pass score is 155. The test lasts for two hours and consists of 120 selected-response questions. The following topics are covered in the test:

  • Foundations of Linguistics
  • Foundations of Language Learning
  • Planning and Implementing Instruction
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Culture
  • Professionalism and Advocacy

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Teaching License with Endorsement

Once candidates have successfully passed the Praxis ESOL test(s) they may apply to the EPSB for their initial teaching license (Rank I or Initial Statement of Eligibility) and an endorsement area, which involves completing and submitting the paper version of the CA-1 form. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework must be submitted with the application along with verification of full-time classroom teaching experience at the appropriate grade level(s) (section 2 of the CA-1 form). Verification of teacher preparation program from the preparing university or college should also be submitted (section 5). There is no charge for a teacher's Initial Statement of Eligibility. Once a teacher has received their Initial Statement of Eligibility, they may work as a teacher in a Kentucky school.

ESL Teacher Certification Resources

Please follow the links below to access our resources to prepare for the required Praxis exam:

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